Who would have though that Esports would become an accepted profession in many countries around the world. The 5 biggest Esports countries in terms of presence, success, and player + team count account for the majority of gaming pros. And in today’s world, there are plenty of games to choose from. League of Legends and CSGO come to mind quickly as these games have had the most success in Esports. Following closely are Dota 2 and Overwatch, but there are also titles such as Rocket League, Starcraft (who can forget about that), Hearthstone, Call of Duty, even Apex Legends as it seems!
But today, we’re focusing on the countries. So, which are the 5 biggest Esports countries in the world? Let’s find out!
The Best Esports Countries in 2019
The country of Denmark isn’t usually considered one of the best Esports countries, but that’s where mistakes are made. Denmark actually left a massive impact on the Esports scene, especially considering Astralis, the CSGO powerhouse, is from Denmark.
On top of that, older League of Legends players will remember Copenhagen Wolves as one of the most influential teams in LCS a few years back. In any case, looking at Denmark’s success over the years and their push towards Esports domination, we can see that they’re definitely at the top, in terms of Esports popularity by country. Danish players have earned more than $32 million (when there’s only 1400 of them), so the prizes-to-players ratio is insane.
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Proportionally, Denmark has earned a shitton of money. Nothing else to it!
Everyone loves the Swedes (well, except the entire Baltic) and they’ve had plenty of power players over the years. Swedish players are tough nuts to crack in CSGO, having the likes of f0rest, KRiMZ, and Olofmeister. The Swedes fight with a certain ferocity and, over the years, have shown the world they’re very capable pro gamers. But CSGO isn’t the only game they play.
The Dota 2 scene was always filled with insane talent but in recent memory, ZAi and S4 come to mind who are Swedish. They’ve proudly represented their teams and are loved by other Swedes. On top of that, Sweden is home to DreamHack; one of the largest Esports tournaments in the world. Swedish players have, since starting their Esports careers, earned almost $35 million!
All of this combined makes Sweden a huge part of the 5 biggest Esports countries list, and one of the best Esports countries today. You don’t want to mess with Vikings.
A nation of almost 330 million people was bound to bring some Esports masters to the global table. And boy, did they provide. Way back in Seasons 1 and 2 of League of Legends, it was TSM (Team SoloMid) that established a gaming/living phenomenon known as “Bay Life”. Basically, the players were superstars. Imagine the most popular football or basketball players in the world – that’s the amount of attention TSM’s players (and the team) got.
The US also laid grasp to a plethora of games, from Call of Duty to Fortnite (Ninja, anyone?). Well, players from the US. We can speak endlessly about the achievements of US teams because that’s exactly how successful they are. CLG, Cloud9, Evil Geniuses, EchoFox, Dignitas, FaZe Clan… These are all teams that will go down in history; some already have.
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The US also hosts a large number of Esports tournaments and its players have accumulated over $127,000,000 since American players started taking part in Esports. This, however, isn’t enough to put it at first place since the USA has around 14k players – a gargantuan number compared to the second largest – China (at 4k).
Overall, a huge force in both the local scene and the global one.
2. South Korea
Many hail it as one of the best Esports countries in the world as it was this country from which Esports originally came. However, South Korea hasn’t financially been as strong as some other regions or countries. No, South Korea has basically brought Esports to the world. Hailing from the first LAN tournaments in games such as Starcraft, South Korea’s footprint on Esports cannot be disputed.
This nation is omnipresent in Esports; they have teams in League of Legends, Dota 2, CSGO, Rocket League, Starcraft II, Overwatch, Hearthstone, you name it! They have also been a dominant force in many of these games. The South Korean Esports dominion is as scary as it is efficient. Their strategies have always been inspiring and unexpected; when something doesn’t work, they adapt swiftly and sharply.
And the whole Asian gaming culture (which is most visible in South Korea) has birthed a certain pedigree; an expectation from players to do good. Obviously, this means that the stakes are high. Prestige, recognition, fame, money – everything comes into play for the Koreans. We’ve had gaming stars like Faker take over the limelight and keep it on South Korea. Since the beginning, South Korean players have earned around $80 million (currently 3.6k active players) – a great ratio if we looked at Esports popularity by country.
So which country could be number 1, considering it all started here, in South Korea?
Well, number 1 of the 5 biggest Esports countries in the world is…
Choo choo! The Chinese hype train is still going strong. Chinese Esports players were always on top of their game. They were occasionally hit with some bad luck but always managed to pull through and show the world what they’re capable of. China is host to more than 250 million people who often play Esports (League of Legends, Dota 2, etc.) or watch the tournaments and games. Using the numbers themselves shows us that China also has many, many players that are some of the best out there.
If we look at Uzi who plays League of Legends, the dedication and drive to succeed is evident. Chinese clubs such as IG, Royal Never Give Up, EHOME, and Vici Gaming have all but been a thorn in other regions’ teams sides. The Chinese play hard, think fast, and adapt to any challenge. No team is impenetrable but the Chinese sure do try their hardest!
Over the years, Chinese gamers and teams have accumulated by far the most in prize money (excluding sponsors, personal deals, etc. whilst also taking the ratio into account). From pure tournament money, Chinese Esports made more than $$100 million! This was achieved by around 4k professional Esports players.
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No one can say that the Chinese lag behind (and even when they do, they always bounce back).
Which team is the most successful from each region? Let us know in the comments below!
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